chapter  8
20 Pages

The Diary and Sensation Fiction

The public appearance of a domestic record in print is one element of the sensation created by novels which are narrated through women’s diaries. The diary as women’s writing and as a realistic document contributes to the phenomenon of sensation through its lack of narrative authority and its subversion of domesticity. The woman’s place as narrator through her diary causes gaps in language. Often the diarist also exhibits a compulsion to write equivalent to the diseased appetite of reading which sensation fiction is accused of feeding. The means of textual transmission is also a part of sensation; the possession of the diary equates to a violation of the woman herself.